Sunday Sampler Sept. 1

September already? How did THAT happen? The summer flew by for sure! Hoping house will be placed on site by Tuesday or Wednesday, then I’ll head to TN on Thursday! They needed to bring in truckloads of dirt to make a wider landing area for getting the house on site (the left side of the property was a bit of a drop off).

This week’s Sunday Sampler is thanks to my hubby, Dave! These textures are an old baking sheet that he used as a drip pan in his bbq smoker! I was getting ready to throw it out, but of course, had to take some pics first of that lovely grunge!!

Photography Organizations

I recently became aware of the group, “Nature First”. Their principles are things I have already been practicing.

Nature photographers are increasingly becoming a liability for the beautiful environments they cherish and photograph.

Nature First is built on seven core principles that help communicate how each of us can enjoy nature photography responsibly. The Seven Principles of Nature First Photography were developed to help educate and guide both professional and recreational photographers in sustainable, minimal impact practices that will help preserve nature’s beautiful locations.

THE NATURE FIRST PRINCIPLES

  1. Prioritize the well-being of nature over photography.
  2. Educate yourself about the places you photograph.
  3. Reflect on the possible impact of your actions.
  4. Use discretion if sharing locations.
  5. Know and follow rules and regulations.
  6. Always follow Leave No Trace principles and strive to leave places better than you found them.
  7. Actively promote and educate others about these principles.

Membership is free. Check them out at: naturefirstphotography.org

If you are a USA-based photographer (any skill level) and you are looking for a group of like minded photography enthusiasts to TEACH, LEARN, SHARE and SOCIALIZE, then NPEG is for you!

The founder of the group, Mark Perry, is holding a free, informative webinar on “What is NPEG” on September 15th 8 pm EDT. Sign up HERE!

And on November 10th, I will be doing a webinar for NPEG, “Topaz Studio 2 – Navigating Your Way Through”.

BOOKING FOR THE 2019-2020 CAMERA CLUB SEASON

I have already scheduled several clubs for the upcoming season (most clubs meet Sept.-June).

I will be doing a program at my own club – the Greater Bridgeport Camera Club – on our first meeting night of the season on Sept. 4.

Oct. 5 or 12 (TBD) – Westchester Photographic Society 1/2 day workshop on Topaz.

Jan. 23, 2020 – Webinar for the Charlotte (NC) Camera Club

March 7th – Hands-on seminars for the Greater Lynn Photographic Society (Lynn, MA). Morning – PS Elements; Afternoon – Topaz. And possibly a program Mon., March 9th at their club meeting (tentative).

IF YOU ARE A CLUB IN NEW ENGLAND, I’D BE HAPPY TO DO A PROGRAM DURING THE WEEK BEFORE OR AFTER MARCH 7TH WHILE I’M IN THE AREA! Email me at Hazel@MeredithImages.com.

Sunday Sampler July 21

Whew, it’s HOT out there! Here in the Northeast the heat index yesterday and today is over 110! Stay indoors in AC if possible and stay hydrated. I’m staying inside and doing some packing!

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of some wallpaper images! When I travel I love to check around the hotel for unusual patterns in wallpaper, rugs, fabrics, etc. There are three textures and two of them have two versions for a total of 5. I think the twig one will be great to overlay in a background!

Info on the newest Topaz product is supposed to be under wraps until release day this coming week. However, you may have seen some info posted on social media – but I’ll just say, “stay tuned this week”! I’ll be doing a special blog post when it’s official! I’ve been involved with the pre-beta and beta testing and I think you will all be very happy (I know I am!).

Don’t Miss Out on my July Specials!

Just 10 days left to grab these deals!

One-on-one training special pricing until July 31st (sessions do not have to be completed in July, just purchased prior to the 31st).

AND…

Don’t miss out on the sale on Sunday Sampler Groups. These bundle the older Sunday Samplers into groups ranging from 75-90 textures each! Or, you can grab all six at an extra special discount – 468 Textures for just $60! No coupon code needed! On sale until July 31st in the Peacock Studio HERE!

Photo Competition!

I came across this photo competition being held at the Pennsylvania Center for Photography, and I thought some of you might be interested too (I will be entering). The theme for this is “Transformations”, so it’s right up our alley with creative photography! Entry is open now through Sept. 25th. If you are not nearby to enter prints, they also have a digital division.

Check out the Prospectus HERE. With some competitions you need to be careful as to what rights you are giving away. With this one, you retain all copyrights – you only give them permission to use your image (with credit) for advertising future competitions. Good luck!

Free Watercolor Action from Adobe Create Magazine

Actions are a great way to save time when batch editing photos. They can also be a fun way to get creative with your images with minimal work. I found this action on creating a Watercolor look from Adobe – CLICK HERE

I haven’t tried this one myself yet, but I did play around with one I got from Graphic River call Architectural Sketch – I like the way this image came out:

Graphic River – and many other great artists – sell a wide variety of actions on Creative Market.

One thing to pay attention to with actions – in some cases you need to “do” something before running the action. In the example above, I had to create a new blank layer and name it “ga”, then use a round brush to brush where I wanted the effect to be (over the lighthouse). THEN hit the “run” button for the action. It’s not difficult, you just need to be sure to read the instructions for each action to be sure it runs properly.

Also – if you are an Elements user, be sure that the action says it will run on Elements. Some will and some won’t, depending on the steps required to complete it.

Another quick way to create a watercolor look is with this Watercolor Creator from DealJumbo. Here you just add your image to the file – no action needed! This deal expires in 10 DAYS – and it’s just $7. Save another 30% with the code PUP30 (expires 07/22/2019 23:59:59 CET – central europe time), so use it quick!

Also be sure to check out their FREEBIES page HERE!

Have a great week – and don’t forget to watch for the Topaz News this week (due to release on Thursday). I’ll be traveling to Michigan this week for the SWMCCC Conference, but I’ll get the info out to you! Next Sunday’s blog post may be delayed a day or two as I won’t be back home till late Monday.

June 16 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there! Enjoy your day.

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of textures from Buffalo, NY! An old window that I did a Topaz technique on, plus some cool old brick and stucco walls. Enjoy!

Survey Results!

Thank you to all who voted on my new logo design. It was very close between two of them (the ones that were my choices too!).

And the winner is #6! While I really liked the script font of the other one too, I thought this one was more of a “casual” script and less frilly! The peacock feather ties in the logo with the Peacock Studio (no the peacock is not going away!).

I will begin using this soon – I’m creating a vector version – and will be using with the new website design as well. Thanks for your input!

UPCOMING EVENTS

This coming week I will be teaching at the Photographic Society of Chattanooga (“Alternative Visual Artistry: Topaz Plug-Ins & Textures”) on Thursday evening, and then also doing a half-day hands-on workshop on “Topaz” next Saturday, June 22nd. There are a couple spots available for the workshop if you’re in the area! You can sign up on my website HERE.

In July I will head to Michigan for the SWMCCC (Southwestern Michigan Council of Camera Clubs) Weekend of Photography & Digital Imaging. I will be doing two seminars: “HDR – the Natural Look” and “Creativity with Topaz & Textures”. It’s a very fun weekend with many speakers, sessions, hands-on photo-ops and more. Check it out at: SWMCCC.org

And speaking of the peacock, read Pete’s latest adventure “Tour of Buffalo”, on the blog, The Traveling Peacock. Sign up to get the latest posts! And follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Design Cuts has released another fabulous new font bundle – “The Eclectic Font Collection”. I had a chance to play around with it this week, and I created this word art with the beautiful script font included:

The bundle includes all of the following font families:

Available now for just $29! CLICK HERE to check out all the details!

AND…If you’re like me and just can’t get enough fonts, Pixelo also has a new bundle – “Fontastic Bundle” with 99 fonts for $29! CLICK HERE to check it all out!

There won’t be a Sunday Sampler next Sunday – I’ll catch up on Monday or Tuesday when I get back from Chattanooga! But…there may be another post this week on some other news…Stay tuned!

June 9 – Sunday Sampler

Our Tennessee journey continues! Purchasing 2nd piece of property attached to the first for a total of 2.1 acres! Put a deposit on a modular yesterday – great deal on one that someone ordered with lots of upgrades then didn’t like the outside color! Good for us! Will be heading back down in a couple weeks on the way to Chattanooga where I will be presenting on Thursday, June 20th at the Photographic Society of Chattanooga. On Saturday the 22nd I will then do a half-day hands-on workshop for them on Topaz. Just a few spots left if you are in the area!

Sunday Sampler header

Some soft floral bokeh images are this week’s Sunday Sampler. I didn’t blur these TOO much – you can use a Gaussian Blur to soften them even more. Great for replacing the background behind a nice flower shot!

Here’s how I used one of these in a quick edit. I had this rose shot with a fairly plain green background (which isn’t a bad thing, but I want to show you how to use the bokeh backgrounds!).

I selected the rose and feathered the edges 3 pixels. Delete the old background. Save the rose with the transparent background as a PNG file.

Open Floral Bokeh 3 and drag the rose into the background (just as you would drag in a texture). I used Neutral Density gradients to darken the background, and a Hue/Saturation Adjustment to make the flowers a little more pink. I also used a Layer Style to add a slight drop shadow to the rose (very subtle). Here’s the final screen shot:

And the final image:

Needs a stem of some type so that it doesn’t look like it’s floating on the background, but you get the idea!

Survey – New Logo Design!

I am beginning an update of the Meredith Images website and decided it was time for a new logo to tie in with the “Peacock” theme. I’ve come up with a few versions – I need you to vote for your favorite!

Here are the versions numbered. The link to vote is at the end of this article! Thanks for your feedback!

NUMBER 1

NUMBER 2

NUMBER 3

NUMBER 4

NUMBER 5

NUMBER 6

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QZ79DH9

THANKS FOR YOUR HELP!

If you like to create the look of pencil sketches and other art from your images, you’ll love this bundle from Pixelo – “The Ultimate Photoshop Add-Ons Bundle”!

It contains 72 Artistic Scripts to create a world of effects with just a click! Check it out HERE! Just $29!

And if you didn’t grab the Design Cuts “Totally Vibrant Textures & Patterns Collection” yet, it expires Monday midnight UK time! Don’t miss this huge collection for just $29! Click HERE to check it out!

And from WeGraphics, a cool little tutorial on how to make a “soundwave” in Photoshop! I followed the tutorial and did this less than 5 minutes!

And finally, from Light Stalking, an article of “The Coolest Photography Links of the Week” including tutorials and some great photographs!

Have a great week!

April 7 – Sunday Sampler

Happy April! It’s finally starting to FEEL like Spring out there! Crocuses are starting to pop and the leaves of daffodils are poking through!

I purchased some tulips at the grocery last week and spent a little time photographing them this week. These were done at the kitchen table – I use a tri-fold foamcore board for a backdrop, draped an old lace tablecloth over it, and used some props I’ve been collecting. And so many editing possibilities! These are just 2 of the versions I created – opposite extremes! Processing in LR/PS & Topaz.

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of some rattan seating from old subway cars at the NY Transportation Museum in Brooklyn. I especially like the ‘bokeh’ image – I sat the camera on the seat and got a pretty cool vantage point! These would also be great to turn into B&W and just utilize the texture of the rattan and not the color. Enjoy!

JUST SIX WEEKS AWAY!
Don’t miss out on the last New England Conference!
May 18-19, 2019

It’s coming up quick! If you want to expand your photographic creativity, then you don’t want to miss this event! Join me and 7 other speakers for a weekend of learning and fun! Seminar topics include: Topaz, textures, creative LR/PS, creative landscapes, LensBaby florals, iPhoneography & apps, multiple exposures, Luminar, creative photo projects, and much more! There will also be photo ops, loaner lenses, and photo walks. And Hunt’s will be here for your shopping pleasure!

Registration includes morning snack, lunch, all Sat./Sun. seminars and other sessions, goody bag, and door prizes!

And added for 2019 – 2 pre-conference workshops and optional dinner buffets on Fri. and/or Sat. nights.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT ALL THE DETAILS ON OUR WEBSITE…AND TO REGISTER!

I have extended my discount code meredith25 until April 15th – save $25 on your registration!

The guys & gals at DESIGN CUTS have put together another fabulous bundle of TEXTURES!!! (You know I’m grabbing this one!) “The Exceptional Textures & Patterns Bundle” sells for just $29 (value $3683). This deal expires in 8 DAYS, so don’t wait – grab your copy now!

It contains hundreds of textures, backgrounds, masks, patterns and more!

CLICK HERE to grab this amazing deal!!

And, my friends at PIXELO also have an awesome bundle going on for photographers – “The Glorious Photoshop Add-Ons Bundle” that consists of 5500 unique PS add-ons – all for just $29!

This bundle consists of:
– 90 mind-blowing Photoshop plugins
– 5500 unique add-ons
– 39 Photoshop actions
– 2345 unique layer styles
– 643 Photoshop brushes
– 1558 Photoshop swatches
– 298 Photoshop overlays
– Full commercial license

CLICK HERE to grab this fabulous deal!

And…some Freebies too!

From iPhone Photography School – “The 10 Best Photo Editing Apps for iPhone”

From CreativeBloq.com – “26 Top Free Brush Fonts”and “45 Great Free Handwriting Fonts”

And from WebDesignDev.com, “The 18 Best Photoshop Add-Ons for Designers”

HAVE A GREAT WEEK!

March 31 – Sunday Sampler

The end of March already – just WHERE does the time go these days?! Don’t get fooled tomorrow! Happy April Fool’s Day!

For this week’s Sunday Sampler, I took a slightly blurred wooden plank shot and gave it four other treatments – so a total of 5 textures this week! Enjoy!

This week Topaz Labs released an update to Gigapixel AI. If you already own the product, the update is free. If you don’t already own it, you can save $20 on the price of $99.99 until April 5th – CLICK HERE!

“Gigapixel AI allows you to enlarge images up to 600%! You can create beautiful 80 x 60 inch prints from a simple iPhone photo. Or transform your DSLR photos into sharp and ultra-detailed 100MP images.

After being training with millions of sample images, Gigapixel can now enlarge your images with a surprising level of quality.

Gigapixel performs around 2 million operations per pixel to get you results with as much detail and sharpness as possible.

No matter why you’re enlarging your photos, you always want the best possibly quality for your results. Gigapixel AI is currently the only photo enlargement product available that can actually add detail back to your upscaled photo.”

Check out more samples and grab your copy HERE on the Topaz site!

If you have a smartphone and want to learn more about apps and how to use them, check out The App Whisperer for some great info! http://theappwhisperer.com/

Jane Driscoll does some great tutorials in some of the iPhone Facebook groups…AND…she’ll be one of 8 presenters at our Creative Photography Conference! Check out info on Jane and our other speakers on the website and join us May 18-19, 2019 in Southbridge, MA for our 3rd Conference!

And join me and a great line-up of speakers at the CanAm Photo Expo, April 26-28, 2019 in Buffalo, NY. I’ll be doing multiple sessions on “HDR – The Natural Look” and “Creativity with Topaz & Textures” along with sessions in the Macro Lab helping you create some textures of your own!

March 17 – Sunday Sampler

When we’re all “Irish for a Day”! Enjoy the festivities!

For this week’s Sunday Sampler, I took a colorful sunset reflected in water and created three more versions that will make great overlay/textures for your photos. And remember, you can change up the colors or even use as B&W to just get the effect of the texture. Enjoy!

3 NEW TEXTURE SETS!

I JUST added 3 new texture sets to the Peacock Studio store. Bokeh 2, Galaxies 2, and Grunge 1. These 3 are on sale for 25% off for one week only, till next Sunday 3/24 (no code needed).

These will make great backgrounds or texture overlays to your photos, for scrapbooking or other digital creations.

Check them out on our website HERE!
(Just click on the Textures group)

And don’t forget – the “pre-sale” of “Working with Textures & Overlays: Turn Ho-Hum into a Work of Art – Book 2” ends tonight at midnight EDT. Save $5 with the code preorder5. And if you still don’t have Book 1, you can also save $5 on that one with the code firstbook5 (you can use both of these codes at checkout).

If you order the electronic version of book 2 I will send the link by return email. If you order the DVD, those will be shipping right around the end of March (they are in production now).

Think Tank Photo’s New “Vision” Shoulder Bag Series Blends Form with Function

Great Photography Begins with a Vision. The ability to visualize a picture
before you release the shutter is essential to getting that perfect shot. With the Vision Shoulder Bag Series, you can get all the right gear to the right place, so you can turn your vision into a great photo.
Sized for professional lenses, the Vision Shoulder Bag Series is designed not only for capacity but also for security. With its zippered top closure, your gear will stay safe and in place.
This Internal zippered flap also provides a secure closure for additional weather and theft protection, and tucks away when not in use.
The Vision series fits wide variety of DSLR and Mirrorless camera kits in a customizable padded divider system, providing ample room for pro-sized lenses and hoods. The shoulder bags also feature dedicated pockets for smartphones, 10-inch tablets, and laptops up to 15 inches (Vision 10 = 10” tablet only, Vision 13 = 10” tablet + 13” laptop, Vision 15 = 10” tablet + 15” laptop). All three shoulder bags offer tripod attachment straps, which attach to web loops on the bottom of the bag.
A luggage handle pass-through and reinforced top grab handle make the Vision a versatile traveling companion when attached to your roller. Other standout features include a comfortable shoulder strap, waterproof tarpaulin bottom, expandable water bottle pocket and a rain cover.
Constructed with durable yet stylish weather-resistant materials, the Vision offers access, security, and the quality you’ve come to expect from Think Tank.
“Great photography begins with a vision,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank Photo’s President and lead designer. “The Vision shoulder bag series is designed to fit DSLR and Mirrorless camera gear with pro-sized lenses and hoods, making an ideal carry solution for professional and aspiring photographers alike.”

GEAR CAPACITY
Vision 10: Fits one standard size body with a wide or short zoom plus 1–2 small extra lens, 10” tablet. Fits 24–70mm f/2.8 detached. OR fits a Mirrorless kit with 3-4 lenses including the 50-140mm
Vision 13: Fits one standard size body with a 24–70mm attached + 1–3 extra lenses, and a 10” tablet. Accommodates 70–200 detached.
Vision 15: Fits one standard size body with a 24–70mm attached, 2–4 extra lenses, flash, a 10” tablet and a 15” laptop. Accommodates 70–200mm detached.

Click Here to visit ThinkTank’s website for all the details!

Don’t Miss Out!

May 18-19, 2019
at the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center, Southbridge, MA

The clock is ticking! This is our last New England Conference!
And our hotel room block is only guaranteed until mid-April – the Brimfield Antiques Weekend is the same weekend as our event this year and the hotel will sell out!

Read the bios and see examples of wonderful photographs by our talented line-up of speakers over on our website.

https://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/

Special offer! I gave each speaker a discount code to use on social media and at other events they teach at. MY code is Meredith25 – save $25 on registration. This code expires March 31st and will not be extended! Take advantage to save some $$.

An interesting and helpful article over on Picture Correct: “Polarizing Filters: What They Are and When They Can Be Used in Photography”

FREEBIE ALERT! I get an occasional newsletter from Designer Candies where they share some cool Freebies! This week’s newsletter included: “Free Seamless Grass Patters and Textures”. Also available are Concrete Textures and Animal Pattern Textures. Check the website for lots of other goodies.

And over on Media Loot, “21 PSD Blackboard and Effects” (scroll through – some are for purchase and some are free).

And, one more Freebie! From Web Design Dev, “20 Free High Quality Brush Sets”.

March 10 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday! SPRING AHEAD! Hopefully you remembered to set your clocks ahead last night (except for our friends in Arizona)!

This week’s Sunday Sampler consists of rocks! I took a very “grungy” rock (actually almost looks like tree bark) and gave you several versions and colors. Enjoy!

THE EBOOK IS DONE!! It’s heading to the printer tomorrow to have DVD’s made (it’s too big for a CD!).

I will begin emailing links later this week to those who purchased the Electronic Version. The DVD’s should arrive right around the end of March and will be mailed as soon as I get them.

I’ve extended the $5 off Coupon for pre-order of the 2nd eBook till 3/17 (CODE: preorder5), and I’ve added a $5 off Coupon for Book 1 (if you don’t have it yet – CODE: firstbook) which also expires 3/17. You CAN use both of these coupons at checkout if you’d like to order both books.

I’m very excited about this new book – it has twelve projects that take you through various ways of working with textures, overlays, gradients, type and layer styles, brushes and much more. It’s 117 pages chock full of creative inspiration! All images and textures used in the projects are included so you can work along with me. And there are bonus sets of textures and brushes as well as a list of my favorite resources!

Head over to the Peacock Studio store on the website and grab your copies! https://www.meredithimages.com/products/

And while you’re in the store, be sure to check out my texture selections – I am working on some new sets and plan to have them added in the next week or so.

Peacock Studio at Meredith Images

And while you’re over on the website, be sure to check out the upcoming Creative Photography Conference, May 18-19, 2019 in Southbridge, MA.

I’ve posted bios for each of our speakers as well as the seminars they will be doing and some examples of their fabulous work. Also posted is the Conference Schedule.

This will be the last New England Conference – don’t miss out!

Workshops Update

I have several half-day hands-on workshops coming up – here is where we’re at with space availability (they are limited to 6 people per session):

March 24 – Photoshop Beginner – FULL! If you are interested in this workshop please email me your name to be put on a list for the next session.
March 31 – Creativity with Topaz – 3 spaces left
April 7 – Elements Intermediate – 5 spaces left
April 14 – Photoshop Intermediate – 3 spaces left
May 5 – Textures & Composites – 4 spaces left

Workshops are hands-on with a laptop (or you may follow along if preferred). I will supply images to work on together as well as notes.

Each session is just $69 and will be held at CT Band Instruments at 1 Church Street, Stratford, CT, 1:00-4:30 pm.

Recently I’ve told you about several great bundles from the folks at Pixelo. They’ve release six new FREEBIES for me to share with you! The newest ones are (these are all live links):
GRAFFISMO FONT
RAINWOOD FREE TYPEFACE
WEST SIDE FONT
NEON PS TEXT EFFECT
STORYTELLA FONT
7 DUOTONE PS ACTIONS

And there are a couple of active promotions for bundles of goodies! If you can’t get enough fonts, check out the GRADIOSE SCRIPT FONTS BUNDLE consisting of 84 script font families with a total of 130 unique fonts – just $29!

And…still an active promotion is the AGELESS VINTAGE BUNDLE
This one contains 55 font families; 176 retro designs and much more! Also just $29.

All of their bundles come with a full personal/commercial license.

So now that you have lots of cool new fonts to play with, here are “20 Amazing Free Photoshop Text Effects” tutorials from WebDesignDev.com.

Feb. 24 – Sunday Sampler

Lots of nasty weather across the country this week! Snow in Las Vegas and the Sonoran Desert; flooding in Tennessee and other states…stay safe everyone! I drove to TN and back this week myself. We’re looking to relocate later this year. Luckily we had an inspection done on the property. Too many issues to make it worth it. The home/property search is back on!

This week’s Sunday Sampler starts with a moss-covered board in FL. I modified it three other ways with Topaz. Feel free to take the original and create some new modifications of your own! Enjoy!

If you are looking to expand your font collection, my friends at Design Cuts have a beautiful new font bundle for you! The “Font Lovers Versatile Library” . This collection has a wide variety of styles, from display, sans serif, serifs, vintage, and more. If you purchased individually, the value is $1750. The Bundle price is just $29! CLICK HERE to visit the Design Cuts page and check it out!

A New National Park

Press release from the National Park Foundation:

“Chances are, when you think about the National Park Foundation, the first places that come to mind are the largest national parks we protect and support.
However, the National Park System consists of over 400 national parks, large and small, from coast to coast. These places honor the battlefields, historic homes, birthplaces, forts, and other landmarks where pivotal events happened — events that deserve to be remembered and understood as American history moves forward.
I’d like to take the opportunity to share with you one of the newest national monuments in the country — one of the few to commemorate the history of organized labor, and the first-ever national park in Chicago.
If the name “Pullman” rings a bell, you might be a railroad buff. “Pullman cars” transformed rail travel by introducing sleeping accommodations to make long-distance travel on America’s burgeoning railroad network more comfortable for those who could afford it. Virtually all of the Pullman car porters and maids were African Americans, some of whom were emancipated slaves who migrated north. Though they worked largely for tips and had to pay for their own meals, uniforms, and lodging, employment on the trains was considered an elite and symbolically important position, opening the door to economic advancement. But the wages for all Pullman workers were sharply cut during the Panic of 1893. And though their paychecks dropped by 25 percent, rent and other costs within the factory town stayed the same. Pullman workers walked out on May 11, 1894.
The events at Pullman, including the historic strike which started there and lead to over 250,000 workers striking nationwide, happened over a century ago. But, the site’s influence as a catalyst of labor organizing and a source of African American opportunity has endured for decades.
We have a vision to help the National Park Service open a vibrant new National Park Service Visitor Center that offers unprecedented opportunities to step inside one of Pullman’s historic structures and be immersed in the town’s many stories.
The Visitor Center and the surrounding area will be a gateway to broader exploration of the entire Pullman Historic District. Local events and partnerships, alongside National Park Service programming, will bring lively activities to the site. New walking paths with interpretive signage will give visitors the opportunity to explore Pullman’s stories at their own pace, from quick circuits around the Visitor Center to longer walking tour experiences.
Exhibits, interpretation, and signage will provide families, school groups, and adults with the opportunity to examine our nation’s history from a variety of perspectives — those of immigrant workers; African American porters and maids; Pullman himself; and company managers, government officials, and observers including contemporary journalists and politicians.
It will be extraordinary.”

I’ve added this new park to my “to visit” list!

Upcoming Event

In late July I will be speaking at the Southwestern Michigan Council of Camera Clubs Summer Weekend of Photography (SWMCCC). The event will be held at Hope College in Holland, Michigan July 26-28, 2019. CLICK HERE for their website. They will be posting more info on the 2019 event shortly.

I will be doing two sessions on “HDR – The Natural Look” and two sessions of “Creativity with Topaz & Textures”.

Don’t Miss Out! Last New England Conference!

May 18-19, 2019
at the
Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center
Southbridge, MA

Join us for the 3rd Creative Photography Conference! 
We have EIGHT wonderful speakers
covering a variety of creative topics:

Anne Belmont (Chicago) – Lensbaby Specialist 
John Barclay (PA) – “Creativity with Topaz” & “Dream, Believe, Create”
Mark Bowie (MA) – “Envision: The Art of Seeing Creatively” & 
“Multiple Exposures for Maximum Landscapes”
Betty Wiley (Cape Cod) – “Get Creative with LR”, “Creative PS” & “Luminar”
Hazel Meredith (CT) – “Textures: Turn Ho-Hum Into a Work of Art” &
“Creating Your Own Textures in PS with Brushes featuring Grut Brushes”
Jane Driscoll (CT) – “iPhoneography + Apps” & “iColorama”
Loretta Paul-Goldin (CT) – “Create Your Own Textures with Alcohol Inks”
Jan Doyle (CT) – “Creative Projects with Your Photos” &
“Get Your Name Out – Free Publicity with YouTube”

ADDED FOR 2019…

Friday – 2 Pre-Conference Hands-On Workshops
Join either John Barclay or myself for an afternoon of hands-on learning. Bring your laptop (or follow along if you prefer) and work along with John (Topaz) or me (Textures). We will provide images so we can work together. These sessions are limited 24 people each. $69 for either session. (You must be registered for the Conference to attend these sessions.)

Friday & Saturday Nights – Optional Dinner Buffet
Southbridge is a small town – why wait somewhere for dinner? Join our speakers and other attendees for an expansive dinner buffet. Sit, relax and chat a while! $20

Special Offer! 

While our Early Bird pricing was the best deal for our Conference – and we did say there would be no further discounts – we added a special code for students and friends of each of our speakers (including me). Save $25 on your registration with the code meredith25. This code expires on March 31st and will be your last chance to save $$ on registration.

GO TO OUR WEBSITE TO SIGN UP!
https://www.meredithimages.com/creative-photography-conference/

Stay tuned tomorrow!

A new product release coming from Topaz!

Feb. 17 – Sunday Sampler

Happy Sunday & Daytona 500 Day if you like auto racing as we do! Looks like some Winter weather finally moving into our area this week. In Southern CT we’ve been pretty lucky so far. Most storms were rain or a mixture. Not much snow (which is fine by me!). Stay safe out there.

This week’s Sunday Sampler is some nice bokeh images of morning dew on grasses. I took these a couple of years ago when I was in Florida teaching at the Spacecoast Birding Festival. These were taken near this Great Blue Heron who was fishing for his breakfast! There were some razor sharp teeth on the alligator gar fish he caught! Taken hand-held with my Canon 70D and Sigma 150-500 at just over 400mm. 800 ISO helped as did Topaz AI Clear!

Organizing Design Assets

A comment and question was posted on last week’s blog about using all of the fabulous resources that are available in the bundles that I mention here. Mainly, how to utilize them, and even more importantly, how to organize and find all of the items! It’s definitely something I’ve been trying to work on.

I’ve started some new files by category for all of the Illustrations-Vector Art. These are mostly items I have downloaded from various web sources. This is what I’ve come up with:

I still have many “Zip” files to open up and save in appropriate folders. I add folders as needed.

My textures folder needs some work! Right now I have a main Textures & Backgrounds folder, then some are by the company purchased from (like Design Cuts, 2 Lil Owls, French Kiss, etc.). Other miscellaneous textures are filed by style (Bokeh, Chalboard, Concrete, Metal, Grain, etc.) like this:

My biggest issue right now is I’m not sure if I want to keep, say, Design Cuts all in that folder, or separate the items into easier-to-find folders! I may keep the original folders and copy items into other folders by subject. It is a hugely time consuming project since I have so many assets and have not kept up with sorting as I purchase more. So if you are in the same boat, you’re not alone! It will be an ongoing project for sure.

Upcoming Event

I’ve been invited to speak at several conferences around the U.S. this year. First up is the CanAm Photo Expo in Buffalo, NY, April 26-28. The event will be held at the Buffalo Grand Hotel, which is completing renovations and will be a beautiful new facility.

They are keeping me very busy that weekend. I will be doing two sessions on “HDR-The Natural Look”, two sessions of “Creativity with Topaz & Textures” plus a Topaz lecture in the Macro Lab on Friday afternoon as well as some hands-on photo ops in the Macro Lab on Sunday morning. Whew!

They have various options for registration – you can check the details on their website at: https://www.canamexpo.com/

I mentioned above about filing your design assets. Here’s another big bundle that you’ll need to file!

From PIXELO, the Mighty Design Bundle, 4900+ Design Resources! Value $2521 if purchased individually, just $39 for the bundle!

What’s included in this bundle?
* 51 font families with 87 unique fonts
* 67 mind-blowing Photoshop actions;
* 19 Photoshop mockups; 9 Photoshop tutorials;
* 500 premium backgrounds;
* 2987 unique vectors; 70 beautiful text styles;
* 512 textures; 681 Photoshop brushes;
* Commercial License;
* Lifetime download access;
* Unlimited and quick response.

Check out the details of all the cool products included HERE on the website.

And from Light Stalking, “Our 113 Most Useful Links for Photographers”

They have a really good list of all kinds of topics. Tutorials, Magazines, eBooks, Software, Buying Gear Online, Social Media sites to follow, and much, much more.

Have a great week!